What will recorded music sound like in 2050?

Last weekend in NYC John La Grou was a keynote speaker at the Audio Engineering Society convention. He based some of his assumptions about how recorded music will evolve on Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors squeezed onto integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. That prediction was made in 1965, and if anything, Moore underestimated the cost savings we've enjoyed. La Grou rolled out statistic after statistic that painted a rosy future for music, gaming, and film tech advances in the coming decades.

La Grou believes that highly advanced gestural control and brain/machine … Read more

Samsung gets touchy-feely with Immersion haptics tech

Samsung is getting more touchy-feely with Immersion.

The Korean electronics giant has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Immersion for its haptics products, giving Samsung access to new technology for its various mobile devices.

Haptics technology is built into devices to create tactile feedback or vibrations so a user actually feels something when touching the screen of a mobile device. For example, Immersion software combined with "actuators," such as motors, allows sensations like the feel of a button click when pressing a virtual button. It makes the product feel more real and can improve the user experience, particularly … Read more

At Pendleton, teaching Marines calm in the chaos of combat

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.--I knew there might be firing in my direction. I was given protective gear. And they told me how to avoid getting in harm's way. And after all that, I still got shot.

Welcome to the Infantry Immersion Trainer, a system set up to help prepare U.S. Marines for possible future combat deployment. Set up in a former tomato packing plant at Camp Pendleton -- the West Coast home of the Marines -- the IIT employs "sets, sound systems and special effects -- including holograms and pyrotechnics -- to simulate [an … Read more

Learn a new language while Web surfing in Chrome

You've probably heard that immersion is the fastest and most comprehensive way to learn a new language. However, immersion is not an easy task when you don't live in a country where your target language is natively spoken. To help with this issue there's an awesome extension called Language Immersion for Chrome.

With this extension you can add as much or as little of a new language to your everyday Web surfing habits as you like. The extension supports most of the languages offered by Google Translate (roughly 64 of them), and can help you learn the … Read more

Get a grip on this immersion blender

Kitchen appliances and gadgets come in all shapes and sizes--and that is a good thing. When one style doesn't fit your liking, chances are another model might do the trick.

Immersion blenders are handy little devices that let cooks blend soups and sauces right in the pot. However, some of the available options out there can be uncomfortable to hold and operate at the same time.

The Breville BSB400XL Control Grip Immersion Blender utilizes an ergonomic trigger switch to set the action in motion, but a comfortable design is only part of the story. Extending use beyond simmering sauces … Read more

Your face is the battlefield with new AR tech

I've been waiting half my life for the phrase "in your face!" to finally die. Now that it seems to be fading, I may have to contend with the rise of "On your face," as in "I'm gonna kick your ass, on your face!"

It's all thanks to a new technology that allows game players to actually fight their digital battles on their own faces. The iOS game Skinvaders uses an augmented-reality (AR) platform to take advantage of the devices' front-facing cameras and transform players' faces into the game terrain on which alien invaders must be defeated to save the world, or your face, or whatever... … Read more

Slip on this hat for a full virtual-reality experience

Would you wear this digital sombrero for a better gaming experience?

Japanese imaging equipment dealer Crescent recently showed off its head-mounted display at the 3D & Virtual Reality Expo (IVR) in Tokyo.

As seen in the vid below, the Immersive Digital Entertainment VR system provides a high-def, 360-degree display showing virtual objects that users can manipulate with their hands. User motions are tracked with high-def motion-capture cameras from Vicon.

The VR experience seems very realistic and smooth. Takahiro Akiyama of collaborator 4D Brain suggests the helmet could also serve as a brain-machine interface and react to what the user is thinking. If BMI technology were incorporated in the device, it might be able to display scenes matching certain brain wave patterns. For instance, a beach when the user is trying to relax.

That would be cool, but the entire concept is dubious. … Read more

E3 2011: The lesser-seen hardware

Sure, you know about the Wii U. You know about the PlayStation Vita. But do you know about the jDome immersive game screen? How about a device that takes physical game pieces and puts them in games? Or, what about a triple-mount TV stand for all your motion-control camera gear?

The E3 Expo is always known for its explosively loud gaming demos and endless play kiosks (not to mention costumed absurdity), but tucked away in the corners are lesser-known companies hawking peripherals and technology that ranges from the intriguing to the absurd. In years past, these odd bits of gaming … Read more

New screenshots reveal more Windows 8 features

Windows 8 will include a PDF reader, greater customization of the Aero interface, and a new version of Internet Explorer 9 that works like its Windows Phone counterpart, according to new details posted online by Microsoft partners.

Offering new tidbits and screenshots from a Windows 8 pre-beta build, "Windows 8 Secrets" co-authors Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott revealed some notable new features this week via the Web site Within Windows.

Windows 8 will reportedly offer a new interface dubbed Immersive as an alternative to the traditional Aero user interface introduced in Vista, according to Windows 8 Center and … Read more

The Internet and the 'Art of Immersion'

AUSTIN, Texas--At the South by Southwest Interactive conference (SXSW) over the last few days, the bulk of the conversation, in hallways, at parties, and in panels, has been about social media. But what about the fascinating ways that people are using technology to take storytelling to the next level?

The team behind the new Jake Gyllenhaal film "Source Code" was in town and talked a bit about the interactive game associated with that film, and a few panels here also touched on the subject. One of those was about the film "Tron: Legacy," and was moderated … Read more